Saturday, October 26, 2013

Layered Swirl Pumpkin Cheesecake with Biscoff Cookie Pecan Crust (Darden inspiration post)

Remember all those pumpkin desserts I was forced (totally willing and without shame) to eat? I decided to draw inspiration from the pumpkin cheesecake (Olive Garden), ginger spice lava cake topped with pecans(Longhorn), and pumpkin pie in a jar (Red Lobster). I created my own little twist on the pumpkin cheesecake by swirling it in with regular, I also utilized the pecans in the crust and in place of ginger cookies I used Biscoff - the result? A tower of creamy rich pumpkin spiced cookie goodness. You're welcome.

Biscoff Cookie Pecan Crust

2 cups finely crushed Biscoff cookies, crushed finely
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
6 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper with access hanging off of sides (this will allow you to lift the baked bars up so you can cut them more easily).

2.Mix cookie crumbs, pecans, cinnamon and butter; press onto bottom and 2 inches up side of pan. Bake for about 10-15 min.

Layered Swirl Pumpkin Cheesecake

3 packages (8 ounces each) lowfat cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar, divided use
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) OR 1 cup cooked mashed pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


1.Using an electric mixer on medium speed, combine cream cheese, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla until well blended. On low speed, add eggs one at a time, mixing each time just until blended. Remove 1-1/2 cups of the plain batter and set aside.

2.To the remaining plain batter, add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Using a large spoon, stir to combine.

3.Pour 1/2 of pumpkin batter over pre-baked crust in pan. Spoon 1/2 of plain batter over pumpkin layer. Repeat until all batter is used. Using a long butter knife, gently swirl through all layers of cheesecake batter without disturbing crust to achieve a marbled effect.

4.Bake for 45 minutes or until center is almost set. Do not over bake. Use a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the crust. Cool completely on wire rack. Remove outer pan and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, before serving. Once cooled, you can cut bars into desired shapes. In this case, I used a circle cut-out and stacked them to create little layer cakes. As you can see mine are slightly sloppy, that's because I didn't line the pan with win foil, so the circles were a little hard to cut, do as I say not as I do.

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